Rising dragon? How SAIC could emerge as a global powerhouse

When it comes to hidden potential, few can hold a candle to the sheer amounts of it wielded by the Chinese automotive industry. Once a purely domestic curiosity, some of the country’s biggest automakers are now seeking to rapidly expand their presence, and perhaps be able to market their wares in other markets including the U.S. However, are some of these Chinese firms ready to make the proper investments and moves needed to transform into global players? Or are these hurdles still too much of a challenge for them to overcome? We take a deep dive and try to discover …

Read more Rising dragon? How SAIC could emerge as a global powerhouse

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2019 Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept Is Next-Gen WTCR Racer

Here is a Chinese import that takes Euro localisation seriously!  A C-segment sedan thoroughly upgraded to full race spec. A machine that embraces Euro dimensions and design while also appreciating the massive interest in all forms of racing. Making RenaultSport’s latest machines fast on track becomes a religion in itself for many. So here is a Lynk 03 sedan tuned to the max, and ready to attack! Like the bumper-bashing old Volvo 850R wagons battling Alfa 164’s of the BTCC! This machine is bonkers powerful at 528HP from a 2.0-liter four — all to the front wheels. To say its …

Read more 2019 Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept Is Next-Gen WTCR Racer

First Look Video – GAC Motor GE3 EV – By Carl Malek – [Video]

When we last started our two part video series on GAC Motor, we began by focusing on the contents of their mysterious press kit, the shady way you have to give your ID to get one, and the lousy value that you ultimately get for giving your personal information. For part two of our series, we leave the gimmicky press kit at home, and instead conclude our coverage of the 2019 North American International Auto Show by taking a look at one of their models to see if GAC Motor has the necessary hardware to back up their bold plans …

Read more First Look Video – GAC Motor GE3 EV – By Carl Malek – [Video]

Is It Really Worth Giving Your ID For a GAC Motor Press Kit? We Find Out, Part 1 of a Two Part Series (Video)

Amid all the glitz and glamour that defines the North American International Auto Show, one particular company has stood out over the years, GAC. GAC (or Trumpchi as their cars are known in China) is a Chinese automotive company that has bold plans for the U.S. market in the near future. Unlike other auto companies and suppliers here at the 2019 North American International Auto Show, GAC insists that you give them your business card or other form of ID before they give you one of their press kits. But is the cost of a slice of your identity really …

Read more Is It Really Worth Giving Your ID For a GAC Motor Press Kit? We Find Out, Part 1 of a Two Part Series (Video)

2.7s, 249MPH 2018 W Motors FENYR SuperSport – Private Unveiling Party

Dubai is now home to another glittering palace! W Motors and ICONIQ just ripped the silk sheets off their latest masterpieces: the production 2018 Fenyr SuperSport and a flagship Dubai showroom. The years-long gestation of the W Motors FENYR SuperSport actually inspires confidence.  This is the all-important sophomore album.  One that is make or break for the future of the business. For a startup exotic car-maker, the debut of the Fenyr is everything that you might have loved about the Lykan hypercar.  But in a cheaper, friendlier package.  The fact that it took a very-normal three years to make this …

Read more 2.7s, 249MPH 2018 W Motors FENYR SuperSport – Private Unveiling Party

Best of Shanghai – 2017 Chevrolet FNR-X Concept [18 Photos]

Chevrolet’s new FNR-X concept for the Shanghai auto show is incredibly sexy.  In fact, it is one of the coolest SUVs in a show absolutely packed with one-off showpieces.  Most of these are a million miles from the production cars on that same brand.  Is the FNR-X? Perhaps only a half-million miles.  It actually seems feasible for these design themes to come to life, as well as the Volt-inspired PHEV drivetrain. The reasons we love the FNR-X design are its gorgeous proportions, low roof and sharply carved surfaces.  Check out the three-dimensionality of the tailgate!  Or the slimline LED lamps …

Read more Best of Shanghai – 2017 Chevrolet FNR-X Concept [18 Photos]

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2018 Citroen C5 AIRCROSS On Sale Late Summer

Vague headline alert! On sale where, exactly?  The best-looking and biggest Citroen SUV ever brings hydaulic suspension for that ultra smooth ride.  Part of why the Citroen DS was so legendary was its hydraulic ride.  Same for the MB 600 Pullman and all modern McLarens. Good tech peers for hydraulics, then. And brands the C5 Aircross will meet when it hits showrooms in Europe around November of 2017.  The model will bow in China a few months earlier, though the production location is unknown at this time. The C5 Aircross really appeals with a bluff, tall hood edge but a …

Read more 2018 Citroen C5 AIRCROSS On Sale Late Summer

2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept A – Debuts Fresh Design in Shanghai

This new Mercedes-Benz concept feels a bit disingenuous.  On the one hand, we have a clear look at the next CLA-Class compact sedan.   But on the other, we have a heavy-handed effort to link this piglet with the 4-door AMG GT Concept.  Aka, the full hog. AMG GT CONCEPT Actually, we take most of that back.  The look of this Concept A is endlessly charming.  Its new LeMans-type grille with vertical slats meets ultra slimline LED headlights.  Wide intakes below leave no doubt as to how turbocharged and speedy MB’s always are. Could the LEDs up front be even …

Read more 2017 Mercedes-Benz Concept A – Debuts Fresh Design in Shanghai

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2017 W Motors FENYR SuperSport In Near-Production Form for Shanghai

W Motors sophomore supercar is almost on the road! This Fenyr SuperSport is a more attainable, yet still hyper-exotic, followup to the legendary Lykan Hypersport. The Fenyr will be W Motors big break – its chance to leverage its stunning launch success with the Lykan into commercial success.  Scale, in this sense, is relative.  Anything more than the dozen or so HyperSports made will be an increase for W Motors.  The team hopes to sell around 200 of these Fenyr SuperSports per year, with production eventually localized to the Dubai HQ.  At this time, the W Motors lineup is still …

Read more 2017 W Motors FENYR SuperSport In Near-Production Form for Shanghai

2017 Citroen DS7 Crossback – Yay or Nay?

And now… for something completely different! Citroen is a favorite around here thanks to its wild designs, brave vision and often-odd product lineups.  Long a hero of urban France, the brand actually has great reach into central/south America and much of Asia.  One place in Asia, in particular.  No prizes for knowing it! The CHinese market has embraced Citroen’s designer flair and euro drive manners.  Especially its upscale DS brand. This new DS7 Crossback is the closest thing to a globally-competitive flagship SUV from any of the French brands.  This five-seater is stunningly luxurious, high-tech and high-style. A 300HP plugin-hybrid …

Read more 2017 Citroen DS7 Crossback – Yay or Nay?

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NEVS To Build Electric 9-3s In China

In an announcement released earlier today, National Electric Vehicles Sweden (NEVS) has revealed that it will be building an electric version of the 9-3 in China over the next few months. For those not familiar with NEVS, it is the company that bought out the remnants of Saab following the brand’s last gasp under the ownership of Spyker. While NEVS currently has the rights to continue building the aging and increasingly obsolete 9-3 sedan, it could not purchase the Swedish firm’s iconic Griffin logo, and actually lost the rights to the Saab name itself in 2014 after entering bankruptcy. According …

Read more NEVS To Build Electric 9-3s In China

BEIJING 2016 – Top 10 Chinese Production Models

PART TWO One look at any of the top concepts from the Beijing Motor Show will tell you: China has come of age in the car business. These were some of the most well-executed, on-trend and exciting models in the entire, gigantic show. The Chery FV2030 earns our vote as the best in show for futuristic concepts.  The Hongqi S Concept wins best in show for production-intent machines. And a special nod to the custom Karlmann King!  This SUV may or may not be a superlux, stealth-skinned Ford Expedition.  For $1.9-million.  =] A variety of sexy EV concepts and supercars definitely …

Read more BEIJING 2016 – Top 10 Chinese Production Models

BEIJING 2016 – Top 10 Chinese CONCEPT Cars and SUVs!

One look at any of the top concepts from the Beijing Motor Show will tell you: China has come of age in the car business. These were some of the most well-executed, on-trend and exciting models in the entire, gigantic show. The Chery FV2030 earns our vote as the best in show for futuristic concepts.  The Hongqi S Concept wins best in show for production-intent machines. And a special nod to the custom Karlmann King!  This SUV may or may not be a superlux, stealth-skinned Ford Expedition.  For $1.9-million.  =] A variety of sexy EV concepts and supercars definitely warrant a …

Read more BEIJING 2016 – Top 10 Chinese CONCEPT Cars and SUVs!

BEIJING 2016 – Analysis: State of the Chinese Car Industry + Top 12 Global-Brand Debuts

The Beijing Motor Show is the flagship event for the absolutely gigantic Chinese car market, and as such is a great barometer of how the industry there is evolving.  For many years, the narrative has been twin threads: — huge potential and rapid advancement from bicycles 25 years ago — shameless flouting of IP via copies of well-known brands and cars, right down to the smallest details. All executed in horrible fashion.  Door shutline gaps that could swallow a hand, paint mismatches, cabin gawps, weird detailing and — last but not least — some laughable names to English-speaking ears. Enter, …

Read more BEIJING 2016 – Analysis: State of the Chinese Car Industry + Top 12 Global-Brand Debuts

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2017 Ford F-150 RAPTOR Going Global to 96 Markets, Including China!

  The unstoppable new Raptor Supercrew is going global!  Just like its Mustang brother, the big Raptor will be a halo model in major markets for the first time.  96 in total for the Raptor, and this now includes China! Its stonking, high-flying act arrives in China in the spec previewed here, with slightly altered lights and bumpers, arrives in China around February 2017.   2017 Ford F-150 RAPTOR China FEARLESS, FEROCIOUS AND FUN: FORD INTRODUCES F-150 RAPTOR SUPERCREW TO CHINA All-new Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew makes its China debut, bringing unmatched levels of off-road excitement and performance to the …

Read more 2017 Ford F-150 RAPTOR Going Global to 96 Markets, Including China!

2016 Jaguar XJ Carves $3B China Skyroad in Plush, Superlux Fashion!

Who loves grand infrastructure projects? We all do, on some level. But the engineering, cost and sheer complexity of many mountain road projects make them cost-prohibitive for all but the grandest planners. Luckily, China and Jaguar are both chock full of the passion and budget to innovate. In the case of the Paxi Expressway in the Sichuan province, this meant building a modern expressway through mountain passes that have been limited to rural, often-unpaved hiking trails for the last 3000 years.  Since 2010, though, the infusion of a million man-hours of prep, and perhaps a billion hours of collective labor, …

Read more 2016 Jaguar XJ Carves $3B China Skyroad in Plush, Superlux Fashion!

Update2 – Road Test Review – 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

Update1 – Additional info from Volvo Cars US in Performance article section.  Update2 – Clarifies that S60 Inscription is the new LWB model, and the only one imported from China.   Solid experience in any business can make you a bit cocky.  You know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats intimately. A brilliant skillset for any field. One that helps you achieve results faster and better than others. In the car reviews business, that often means you think you know a car pretty well… without even driving it.  From other models in the brand’s lineup, from previous generations and from reviews you have read.. …

Read more Update2 – Road Test Review – 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

2017 Volvo S90 Reveals Slinky New Limo Shape, 400HP T8 PHEV Drivetrain

Volvo is on a huge roll!  The new XC90 led a 26-percent sales gain for the month of November 2015, and the momentum is just getting started. The next step is this all-new S90 luxury sedan.  All-new and competing with A6 and even A8, this new Volvo limo is an exceptionally promising replacement of the aged S80. The new S90 runs all-new chassis, exterior, interior and powertrain — making it a near clean-sheet approach to the next generation of large Volvos.  The powertrains and much else is shared with the exceptional new XC90: this includes the standard T6 turbo engine …

Read more 2017 Volvo S90 Reveals Slinky New Limo Shape, 400HP T8 PHEV Drivetrain

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2015 BMW Concept Compact Sedan Teases Upcoming 135i: $25k Base Price, Standard Turbo, RWD?

  Here is a bit of a mystery concept from BMW: the 2015 Concept Compact Sedan. Debuting at the Guangzhou auto show in China this week, the Concept CS is not mysterious about its production intent. One look inside the cabin of even the renders shows that this car is nearly finalized already, and likely to be in some global Bimmer showrooms by the end of calendar 2016. From there, things line up with logical powertrains in 120i, 128i and 135i, mirroring the two-door 235i, etc. Pricing for the eventual 1 series is likely to start at about $25k, at …

Read more 2015 BMW Concept Compact Sedan Teases Upcoming 135i: $25k Base Price, Standard Turbo, RWD?

2017 Cadillac XT5 Tech Specs, Cabin Details Reveal New 8-Speed Auto, Giant Backseat + Turbo for China

Cadillac Arabia just revealed the XT5 at the Dubai auto show — the region’s first global debut for the expanding marque. The XT5 is fresh for 2017 with a quieter and smoother ride, extremely lavish cabin materials and design, plus a big leap up the roominess charts. This makes sense: the two-row luxury crossover market is all about the kings in the second row. An extra 3.2-inches of legroom are welcome in the new reclining and sliding second row of the XT5. The style of the XT5 outside is both fresh and slightly familiar: the nose and tail look very …

Read more 2017 Cadillac XT5 Tech Specs, Cabin Details Reveal New 8-Speed Auto, Giant Backseat + Turbo for China

Revised Peugeot DKR 2015+ Battle-Testing New Engine/Suspension Setups Ahead of Dakar 2016

No person (or rally race) should be treated like ‘a means to an end.’ But when that ultimate goal looms larger than anything else in sight, you tend to focus on the main event. All others are just prep work. And so it is for the refreshed Peugeot 2008 DKR 2015+ racecar. That 2015+ coding is the internal tag for the heavy upgrade work done by the racing boffins at Peugeot Sport. The DKR was our clear favorite to win the Dakar rally in 2015, but lost out to the brutally fast MINI Countryman race squad, who are shooting for …

Read more Revised Peugeot DKR 2015+ Battle-Testing New Engine/Suspension Setups Ahead of Dakar 2016

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Updated With 18 New Photos – 2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept

Updated 4.21.15 With 18 New Photos VW + China = Love   You probably know that Chinese car buyers love VWs and they love limousines. Seems like a perfect opportunity to combine the two into a stylish market-leader, right? Perhaps. The VW Phaeton has indeed been a relatively big hit in China, which is the car’s leading/only market along with Germany. Phaeton ≠ S-Class But there are three big issues with the Phaeton achieving big sales in China (or anywhere else…): 1 — it is ancient inside with very, very poor technology compared with the new S-Class 2 — its engines are …

Read more Updated With 18 New Photos – 2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept

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2015 Ferrari California T by Tailor Made Evokes Hollywood Royalty of ‘Grigio Ingrid’ 375MM

There is a timeless elegance associated with Hollywood and the global jetset enjoying 1950s Italy. Thanks to commercial aviation — the world’s elite could now, for the first time in history, vacation in far more exotic locales efficiently and without any month-long boatrides there and back. This magical era of big-budget Hollywood movies also was the first time films would be distributed globally as well, thanks to advances in projector and film reel affordability. Upon arrival in Capri or St. Tropez, the stars of the day fell hard for all the accoutrements of the Italian luxury lifestyle — including Ferrari’s. …

Read more 2015 Ferrari California T by Tailor Made Evokes Hollywood Royalty of ‘Grigio Ingrid’ 375MM

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2015 INFINITI Q70L Bespoke Edition Is Ultra-Posh Flagship Limo – Bested By Taurus on Tech?

  LIMOUSINES FOR ALL? The chase for Chinese limo buyers is almost becoming a caricature. Based on all the attention lavished on this tiny segment of China’s 10-million-unit auto market, you might think that everyone’s first car there is a LWB limo with individual thrones in back and a chauffeur up front. That is emphatically not the case. Most Chinese car sales are humdrum little sedans made of sawdust and hope, powered by smog and costing a pretty penny for the privilege. LIMOUSINES FOR SOME! But there is a logic in snagging limo buyers. First off, the profit margins are …

Read more 2015 INFINITI Q70L Bespoke Edition Is Ultra-Posh Flagship Limo – Bested By Taurus on Tech?

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Update1 – 2015 QOROS 2 SUV PHEV Concept Previews Upcoming Juke-Fighter

Updated 4.21.15 with 10 Real-Life Photos Qoros is by far our favorite Chinese car brand — plucking exceptional talent from the UK car scene like Gerte Hildebrand of MINI fame and Jamie Barrett from the RCA design program. The goal is to bring global car safety, design and equipment standards to China-made vehicles. This is more than lip-service: QOROS has the only Chinese vehicles to pass the tough EuroNCAP crash tests and on sale across the highly competitive European car market. Qoros recognizes the opportunity for new brands in the crossover and SUV space — with this latest Qoros 2 SUV …

Read more Update1 – 2015 QOROS 2 SUV PHEV Concept Previews Upcoming Juke-Fighter

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Best of Shanghai – 2015 Chevrolet FNR Concept Is First Self-Driver For Cool People

Finally!  A high-tech and super-advanced autonomous concept that is not just aimed at super-nerds! Even though Shanghai is only just getting into its swing of new car reveals, we can be sure that the Chevrolet FNR will be one of the most memorable and intriguing vehicles on display. The new Chevrolet FNR Concept just bowed in Shanghai to stunned crowds and camera-phone flashbulbs exploding in a cascade of light. A sinewy mix of glass capsule and integrated chassis materials is a fascinating look at the future of car design. The FNR features some intense dragonfly double doors which side upward …

Read more Best of Shanghai – 2015 Chevrolet FNR Concept Is First Self-Driver For Cool People

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2015 Volkswagen C Coupé GTE Previews Phaeton Replacement

VW + China = Love   You probably know that Chinese car buyers love VWs and they love limousines. Seems like a perfect opportunity to combine the two into a stylish market-leader, right? Perhaps. The VW Phaeton has indeed been a relatively big hit in China, which is the car’s leading/only market along with Germany. Phaeton ≠ S-Class But there are three big issues with the Phaeton achieving big sales in China (or anywhere else…): 1 — it is ancient inside with very, very poor technology compared with the new S-Class 2 — its engines are too large and draw massive VAT …

Read more 2015 Volkswagen C Coupé GTE Previews Phaeton Replacement

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2016 Ford Taurus Revealed in Shanghai – USA Model Likely Near-Identical

First look at the 2016 Taurus today — from perhaps the most unlikely of places: Shanghai. This most-American of full-size sedans is making its debut in Shanghai on Monday in specific China-market shape, with localized details for the entire exterior and interior. The back seat brings a full limousine-like infotainment setup to the rear armrest – as customers in this segment and market are known to prefer. The China-market-Taurus also reveals a new configuration of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine first seen in the F-150. With twin turbochargers and close to 300 horsepower, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost is likely the top …

Read more 2016 Ford Taurus Revealed in Shanghai – USA Model Likely Near-Identical

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2016 Skoda Superb Revealed in Prague With Audi A8-Rivaling Roominess and Superior Design?!

Skoda is very proud of the Superb, their flagship of the line and packing a gigantic back seat that is in the same league as the standard-wheelbase A8 limousine. How and why is this possible in a car that is priced under the VW Passat? How comes down to the mass-market MQB chassis componentry and lack of an aluminum-spaceframe chassis or alloy bodywork. Front-drive is the name of the game, but this is also a side benefit. The trunk is bigger than any Audi sedan. Why? That is a bit more complicated. Think of the Superb as the Phaeton of …

Read more 2016 Skoda Superb Revealed in Prague With Audi A8-Rivaling Roominess and Superior Design?!

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2016 Citroen DS5 Is Fresh With Upscale Cabin and Ultra-Modern LED Lighting

The 2016 Citroen DS5 is here and very cool!  Packing a cosmopolitan luxury-wagon style, a premium and laid-back cabin layout — the latest DS model really proves the transformation from basic Citroens up to the premium and swanky DS lineup. 2016 Citroen DS5   NEW DS 5: THE SYMBOL OF THE DS BRAND The New DS 5 is a vehicle of avant-garde styling, allying dynamic behaviour, refinement and attention to detail with a selection of advanced technologies. It embodies all the attributes of present and future DS vehicles. The DS flagship model introduces the brand identity and gains the new …

Read more 2016 Citroen DS5 Is Fresh With Upscale Cabin and Ultra-Modern LED Lighting

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2016 Volvo XC90 Hits 16,000 Pre-Orders So Far + 38 New Dynamic Photos

  The 2016 XC90 is easily the most important Volvo in the last five years. Scoring a hit with buyers is a make-or-break venture for the much-loved Swedish car brand. A simple refresh with new cabin tech, design and exterior upgrades might have secured a 30-percent sales increase all on its out. The previous scenario assumes carry-over powertrains. Volvo has not taken that route. The new strategy is an all-new platform with standard plug-in hybrid tech, a T6 power level and T8 setup with 400-horsepower. If the old gains might have been modest, the new XC90 is looking set to …

Read more 2016 Volvo XC90 Hits 16,000 Pre-Orders So Far + 38 New Dynamic Photos

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Mercedes-Benz G-Code Concept Is China-Penned GLB Design Study

  At the opening of its new Beijing R&D Center today, Mercedes revealed a very tasty new concept car to the world: the G-Code SUV concept. G-Code? Mercedes calls this hot new concept an SUC — which seems like an acronym too far! Let’s just say it is a very sporty crossover coupe. A Super-Sport Utility Vehicle? Regardless, the themes shown here are very interesting and fresh versus previous Mercedes SUV ideas and concepts. The flowing and ultra-sensual forms of the body are an extreme interpretation of Mercedes’ latest California-originating design themes — with the sheetmetal appearing like a taught …

Read more Mercedes-Benz G-Code Concept Is China-Penned GLB Design Study

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Chinese-Market SUV and Crossover Concepts – Acura vs. MG vs. Chery vs. Haval vs. Changan

Concept cars are a helpful thermometer for showing the Chinese car market’s rapid progress recently. Sure, Chinese joint-ventures and domestic car brands can contract with the same European or American dream fabricators to make a stunning concept — and they have many times in the past. But as the home-grown industry evolves and matures, we are seeing much fresher local ideas than ever before. Local designs and local execution has been shown at the most recent Beijing and Guangzhou auto shows — with a heavy focus on SUVs and crossovers since 2013. That is the year when Chinese law changes …

Read more Chinese-Market SUV and Crossover Concepts – Acura vs. MG vs. Chery vs. Haval vs. Changan

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2015 Volvo V40 XC Adds 245HP T5 Powertrain – USA Imports Coming Soon?

  UPDATE: The fine print of Volvo’s release below actually invalidates much of the below editorializing — it looks like the V40 Cross Country may be coming to the States after all!!! Say a big thankyou to the new XC90’s strong initial sales if this does become the case… watch this space for all the updates.   PREVIOUS The V40 is Volvo’s smallest model range and is no longer imported to the US market. Is this a total letdown? It is a bit of a disappointment, that is sure. Especially because this platform has housed many of the latest Volvo …

Read more 2015 Volvo V40 XC Adds 245HP T5 Powertrain – USA Imports Coming Soon?

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2015 McLaren 625C Is Asia-Focused Model With Super-Smooth PACC Suspension

  Here is an interesting bit of news! McLaren has launched the new 625C with features custom-tailored to the exploding Asian market. New tuning and settings for the ProActive Chassis Control lets the hydraulic suspension of the 650S become boulevard-smooth in its comfort setting – far cushier than anything with the McLaren badge to date. This is news because the 650S is already one of the smoothest-riding supercars ever made. That hydaulic suspension lets the car flow and breathe over bumps like a Citroen DS, but is adjustable in two further modes to make it track-hard. Below you can see …

Read more 2015 McLaren 625C Is Asia-Focused Model With Super-Smooth PACC Suspension

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Update2 New Photos – 2015 Peugeot 508 Facelifted With New LED DRLs, Box-Design Beams and Tweaked Cabin Tech

My passion for great LED lighting is spiraling out of control. It seems, lately, that a new headlight design with some flashy LEDs is enough to win my favor. But am I alone? LED lighting and headlights are by far the easiest piece of a car for the manufacturers to update — no new sheetmetal is required at all in many cases. But the impact on the 30-percent of the time spent driving in the dark or dusk? A totally transformed car. This new 508 is more than an LED refresh – and includes various new shapes for the grille …

Read more Update2 New Photos – 2015 Peugeot 508 Facelifted With New LED DRLs, Box-Design Beams and Tweaked Cabin Tech

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2014 Peugeot EXALT Concept Refreshed for Paris – Will Future 509 Sedan Reach This Level?

UPDATED 9.5.14   2014 Peugeot EXALT Concept   PEUGEOT EXALT CONCEPT: A NEW INCARNATION FOR THE PARIS MOTOR SHOW 04/09/14 European version of PEUGEOT EXALT Concept Car brings a host of innovative features Hybrid petrol-electric power train has a combined output of 340hp A new version of ‘Newspaper Wood’ returns to uniquely tailor the Concept’s bespoke interior PEUGEOT is showcasing the EXALT Concept Car in a new livery at the Paris Motor Show next month. The bodywork features shades of grey that emanate from the bare steel covering the majority of the exterior to the distinctive ‘Shark Skin’ rear end. Inside, the …

Read more 2014 Peugeot EXALT Concept Refreshed for Paris – Will Future 509 Sedan Reach This Level?

Updated USA Debut – 2014 BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept – Design Analysis

Updated 8.27.14 The fact that the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept headed to Beijing this Spring instead of to the concurrent New York show says quite a bit about its market-makers. This machine needs to be successful in China. Period. As the biggest growth opportunity, China represents perhaps the only non-American and non-German (domestic) volume market for ultra-luxury sedans in the coming decade. But while the Chinese limo shopper has whole-heartedly adopted the Audi brand, BMW and Mercedes-Benz find themselves playing second fiddle. At the same time, the VFL concept needs to revive the unpopular current 7 series in the …

Read more Updated USA Debut – 2014 BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept – Design Analysis

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QOROS Design Analysis – Qoros9 and Flagship Concepts Preview Exciting Future Models

QOROS is the German-led Chinese car firm that could change global perceptions about Chinese vehicles through sheer strength of engineering. The firm aims to deliver the best of European safety, handling, styling and quality standards to an affordable-produced model for the first time. Headed by Gert Hildebrand as design chief, Qoros is on firm footing to bring his MINI Cooper design expertise to all sorts of new segments. Here is Hildebrand with the Qoros Flagship model discussed below. QOROS Design Analysis – Qoros9 and Flagship Concepts Preview Exciting Future Models After many false starts by other brands, the Qoros 3 …

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2015 Ford Edge Debut in 200+ Photos – Standard EcoBoost + Better Dynamics, Tech and Style

The first-ever global Ford Edge has arrived! The 2015 model will be sold in 110 markets across the world, which is a first for any Ford truck or SUV. Other firsts keep rolling in with this all-new model – including a standard EcoBoost turbo in 2.0-liter flavor making a healthy 245-horsepower and 270-pound-feet of torque through the standard six-speed automatic. This six-speed is the SelectShift auto – a traditional torque-converter automatic that promises smoother city coasting than the sometimes-unpleasant PowerShift twin-clutch unit. It also pairs well with the standard front-drive or optional all-wheel-drive of the new Edge in all three …

Read more 2015 Ford Edge Debut in 200+ Photos – Standard EcoBoost + Better Dynamics, Tech and Style

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Update1 With Novak Djokovic- 2015 Peugeot 508 Facelifted With New LED DRLs, Box-Design Beams and Tweaked Cabin Tech

My passion for great LED lighting is spiraling out of control. It seems, lately, that a new headlight design with some flashy LEDs is enough to win my favor. But am I alone? LED lighting and headlights are by far the easiest piece of a car for the manufacturers to update — no new sheetmetal is required at all in many cases. But the impact on the 30-percent of the time spent driving in the dark or dusk? A totally transformed car. This new 508 is more than an LED refresh – and includes various new shapes for the grille …

Read more Update1 With Novak Djokovic- 2015 Peugeot 508 Facelifted With New LED DRLs, Box-Design Beams and Tweaked Cabin Tech

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2015 Peugeot 508 Facelifted With New LED DRLs, Box-Design Beams and Tweaked Cabin Tech

My passion for great LED lighting is spiraling out of control. It seems, lately, that a new headlight design with some flashy LEDs is enough to win my favor. But am I alone? LED lighting and headlights are by far the easiest piece of a car for the manufacturers to update — no new sheetmetal is required at all in many cases. But the impact on the 30-percent of the time spent driving in the dark or dusk? A totally transformed car. This new 508 is more than an LED refresh – and includes various new shapes for the grille …

Read more 2015 Peugeot 508 Facelifted With New LED DRLs, Box-Design Beams and Tweaked Cabin Tech

2016 Peugeot 509

Mazda6 vs Ford Fusion Shows How To Make the FWD 2016 Peogeot 509 Sexy

Ed’s Note: This article is feeling condescending as I review and ready it for publishing, and I regret that tone. Nobody likes being spoken down to. That is not my intention. Starting from a basic place – Just to explain it all, as best I can, to someone for whom car design might not a passion area. How to make a front-drive car sexy and stylish — while keeping it primarily front-drive? Not an easy task, and one that has taken many years to get anywhere near resultion. The clearest example of the ideas and design analyses explored below is …

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RM Auctions Monaco 2014 Highlights – 1968 Toyota 2000GT Joins Million-Plus Japanese Car Club

Rare is the key word for any Asian car to crest the million dollar mark — only two or three other 2000GT’s can claim membership, and only since 2013. Even referring to the group as “Asian” cars is quite a misnomer – no other car from South Korea or China is anywhere near this mark in classic car values. Values for the ultimate 1960s Japanese supercar are firmly on the ascent, with buyers eager to own its delicate curves and precision inline-six engine. Outright power is not really part of the appeal with only 150-horsepower available from the Yamaha-partnership engine …

Read more RM Auctions Monaco 2014 Highlights – 1968 Toyota 2000GT Joins Million-Plus Japanese Car Club

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2014 Nissan Lannia Concept Shows No Tailpipes – May Preview Next Leaf EV

Surely, Tom, you must just have meant to say “No tailpipe emissions…?” Nope. No tailpipes whatsoever on this Beijing 2014 concept car from Nissan. It is quite pretty and unique from all sides, and has instant allure and attractiveness. This is all a good sign for Nissan in China, where local teams have played a critical part in the Lannia’s design and development. The only angle that proves this is not a sports car is the rear three-quarter, which brings things back down to Earth with a pretty eco-minded appearance. The lack of tailpipes, overall size match, and EV aspirations …

Read more 2014 Nissan Lannia Concept Shows No Tailpipes – May Preview Next Leaf EV

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VENTURI Taking its Visionary EV Future-Tech to Bonneville and Formula E Racetracks

PART ONE: INTRO TO BRILLIANT CONCEPTS You cannot fault Venturi Automobiles for their ambition – here is a company with the power to envision and make concept cars that might even fail the Rinspeed or ItalDesign “reality check” test. Wild ideas like a solar streamliner for commuters, the Antarctic shuttle on treads, and the America off-road cabrio concept are certainly enticing for their rarity and bold vision. The Volage concept is perhaps the most feasible as a sale-able vehicle — with unique ideas present even six years since its first look as a concept in 2008.   PART TWO: HARSH …

Read more VENTURI Taking its Visionary EV Future-Tech to Bonneville and Formula E Racetracks

McLaren Special Ops Reveals Upgrades for 650S via Production-Ready Concept

McLaren Special Ops 650S McLaren Special Operations is fantastic – easily and safely turning any 12C into more graceful beauties via new bumpers, sills, spats and diffusers outside. Inside, your taste and modesty are the only restrictions on colors and customizations. All the MSO upgrades adhere to the same McLaren fanatical obsession with racing performance enhancement at every step – meaning they are far more than just cosmetic. They are also OEM-quality, which is less-than-a-sure-thing for other body kits. Such bodywork flying off the car at McLaren-level speeds would be a concern for me when personalizing my supercar. Bruce McLaren, …

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BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept for Beijing 2014 – Previews Low-Roof 8 Series Gran Coupe?

This BMW Concept limousine for Beijing just broke cover, and is a huge and desirable rolling art form – a sculpture on wheels. This is what will set BMW’s future luxury sedans apart from the more ubiquitous and less-exclusive competing brands — all of whom are clamoring for Chinese and global limo shoppers. But volume and cache are mutually exclusive in most areas of the ultra-lux market. Anything that is mass-market is immediately disqualified – even the S-Class might share a bit too much with the the C-Class for these types of high-fashion clients. Coach doors are hinged at the …

Read more BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept for Beijing 2014 – Previews Low-Roof 8 Series Gran Coupe?

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Annotated Design Analysis — Peugeot EXALT — How To Make the 2016 Peogeot 509 Sexy — Mazda6 vs Ford Fusion Examples

Ed’s Note: This article is feeling condescending as I review and ready it for publishing, and I regret that tone. Nobody likes being spoken down to. That is not my intention. Just to explain it all, as best I can, to someone for whom car design might not a passion area. How to make a front-drive car sexy and stylish — while keeping it primarily front-drive? Not an easy task, and one that has taken many years to get anywhere near resultion. The clearest example of the ideas and design analyses explored below is the latest Mazda6, which is far …

Read more Annotated Design Analysis — Peugeot EXALT — How To Make the 2016 Peogeot 509 Sexy — Mazda6 vs Ford Fusion Examples

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WOW! 2014 Peugeot EXALT Concept — Onyx 4-Door GT — Raw Alloy Body with Sharkskin Textile Wrap + 340HP HYbrid4 Power

One has to admire the resilient spirit of Peugeot Citroen. Budgets too tight to stay in LeMans? Take the powertrain up Pikes Peak in the new 208’s body shell!  And then keep rocking that super-diesel at the 2015 Dakar rally’s of Chile! A similar feat today with the just-revealed Exalt concept for Beijing. It carries forward many of the ideas first explored on the bare-metal Onyx hypercar concept, but this time with the gorgeous proportions of a RWD four-door coupe. That cab-backward layout is something French engineers and the buying public have been clamoring for since the demise of the …

Read more WOW! 2014 Peugeot EXALT Concept — Onyx 4-Door GT — Raw Alloy Body with Sharkskin Textile Wrap + 340HP HYbrid4 Power

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FORD Debuts 2015 US-Spec Focus Sedan — Style Update Brings Chic Dark Trims, Plus Enhanced Tech — But No HIDs…?

Hot off the presses!  Initial thoughts? Much improved! The dark trims really make the sedan’s nose much more appealing. This dark trim will no-doubt be available on the five-door as well.   The Good News: The tail of the hatch is also much cleaner in its appearance from directly behind, while the production-spec Focus Electric goes from the looker of the bunch to a bit eco-wimpy. The dark grille of the sedan is by far the best and biggest single improvement. The Not-So-Good News: The latest US Focus does still appear to lack the bi-xenon + LED lighting from the …

Read more FORD Debuts 2015 US-Spec Focus Sedan — Style Update Brings Chic Dark Trims, Plus Enhanced Tech — But No HIDs…?

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Citroen DS Brings Parisian Street Style to Beijing with DS 5LS — 5LS R Version Packing 300HP!

Citroen and Peugeot are hugely popular brands in China. But so far, the cars on offer have not achieved the market share to go along with all that admiration. Step forward, Citroen’s high-fashion DS brand. With a logo that looks like French designer couture, the exteriors and interiors of many current Citroen models become far more stylish and appealing. The 5LS sedan is a great example of Citroen’s re-alignment toward not only having a fashionable brand, but selling hundreds of thousands of that car in China’s extremely competitive market. WIth every brand on Earth trying to tap the same “Cuppies” …

Read more Citroen DS Brings Parisian Street Style to Beijing with DS 5LS — 5LS R Version Packing 300HP!

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QOROS e-BIQE Concept Is Human Pedal Power + Plug-in Electricity

 QOROS e-BIQE Concept Is Human Pedal Power + Plug-in Electricity QOROS is showing some real promise lately. Here is the basic idea behind the QOROS brand: World-best European engineering, branding and safety expertise. Built in low-cost China, but to German quality standards. The idea certainly has promise, and some huge-name executives behind the efforts. Most of them are German OEM refugees — who know a thing or two about excellent quality, safety, performance and handling on two wheels, four, or 18. If there is one core template for (real) global transport exports from China, it will be led by a …

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Top Cosmetic DIY Car Mods Under $50 — Part 2 — Fake Brembo Caliper Covers — How-To Instructions and Photo Results

Part Two of a new ‘DIY Car Mods’ series. Definitely some really trashy stuff included in this series of articles. But what is the best/worst part of modifying your own car? No matter the price of the upgraded parts — you have zero guarantee they will perform as promised, or even fit. So please take all these with a hefty dose of salt. Ideally, these are just ideas based on what has “stuck” on my car’s cosmetic refresh list over the years. Many, many even trashier upgrades have been installed and later removed from deep shaming by car-guy pals. And …

Read more Top Cosmetic DIY Car Mods Under $50 — Part 2 — Fake Brembo Caliper Covers — How-To Instructions and Photo Results

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2014 Skoda Superb Outdoor and VisionC Concept for Geneva Causing Some Angular Euro Style Envy…

Skoda is becoming a real asset for the Volkswagen Group. Bought for a song as the Czech firm was failing in the 1980s — Skoda now commands a quite sizable market share in Europe’s most profitable markets. Skoda’s core selling points have really been popular among anti-fashion consumers. People who (claim to) value a vehicle for its merits, value and durability versus a fleeting style. Skoda is also a surprise, run-away success story in China. The latest cars from Skoda seem to take the next step in the brand’s evolution: a cheaper, more avant-garde ethos than even Audi can manage …

Read more 2014 Skoda Superb Outdoor and VisionC Concept for Geneva Causing Some Angular Euro Style Envy…

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Koenigsegg One:1 Still Vmax King, But Under Threat by Huayra, Venom GT, McLaren P1 and LaFerrari

When it comes to hypercars, buyers have a variety of distinct priorities for their new baby. Subjective appeal is the name of the game– even while the power and performance stats from all the big-league hypercars are far into the stratosphere. But are there any universal qualities a hypercar must embody? Yes, I’m glad you asked. A handful of these are below: — extremely violent speed and track pace — exclusivity and image — curb appeal — sex appeal — daily drive-ability via street-legal emissions and safety — performance kudos and/or racing pedigree The Koenigsegg Agera s and Agera R …

Read more Koenigsegg One:1 Still Vmax King, But Under Threat by Huayra, Venom GT, McLaren P1 and LaFerrari

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Honda Jade and Concept M from Shanghai 2013 Likely No-Shows in Detroit

The media side of the global auto industry is getting confusing. Any business needs to create structure in their marketing. Marketing, in this sense, is everything from concept cars to TV ads to post-sale warranty/service needs. This is often handled by region, especially for the semi-autonomous groups in the American market – the most valuable in terms of sales by a huge margin. But this segmentation strategy does not always work in a new age of digital media. Not only are international auto magazines available instantly via iPad editions, but they are far more affordable that way as well. Not …

Read more Honda Jade and Concept M from Shanghai 2013 Likely No-Shows in Detroit

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Latest Toyota FCV Concept Shows Design of Future SuperPrius

The Toyota FCV runs on Hydrogen-powered batteries, but looks like it could also convert squirrels or road debris into energy via its lower air scoops… This car has some really, really awkward angles. Even as a concept only, the FCV’s styling and design leaves much to be desired. From the initial sketches, this car loses the plot completely – with another tall roof and seriously unattractive nose. Perhaps for aerodynamic reasons, the fender tops do not quite reach the hood of the FCV. For style, aero, or cooling? It is believable that the latest water-operated fuel cell design could have …

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